Mr. Lin Jiaqiao and Mr. Zhao Ang, co-founders of Rock Environment and Energy Institute(REEI), spoke on the webinar on "Chinese Green Recovery in the Post-COVID-19-Era" organized by The National Institutes for the Humanities (NIHU) and The Center for Northeast Asian Studies of Tohoku University in Japan on 30 September 2020. More than 30 participants from universities, industrial organizations and governmental agencies joined the discussion.
In the meeting, Lin Jiaqiao, elaborated China’s “New Infrastructure” in response to COVID 19, and some details of the roadmap of Chinese green recovery in terms of energy policies and overseas investment in energy. He talked about Chinese effort to increase investment in renewable energy and electric vehicles. Chinese governments have been putting a lot effort to increase energy efficiency and reduce the use of fossil fuels as well. Lin also shared REEI’s policy analysis work on Green Recovery. One of REEI’s programs is Energy Transition and Carbon Pricing (ETCP), facilitating policy exchanges and debates between regional partnership and raising public awareness on environmental and energy issues through holding seminars, publishing reports and policy briefs, etc.
Zhao Ang, echoed Lin’s talk and commented on Chinese green recovery. He argues that the next five to ten years will be very important for China to achieve energy independence and reach a new level of economic development driven by technical innovations and knowledge and service sectors. The new commitment that China will achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, a more ambitious and advanced goal, signaled that Chinese economic model needs to shift dramatically in the decades to come. At the same time, it is very important for China to work with other countries, such as EU and the US, to achieve the target, as international environment is a crucial factor for China’s development. He also pointed out that it is unclear whether the low carbon development model will be settled in major economies across the world after this pandemic. Regarding the global carbon budget to meet the 2 degree Celsius of climate target, China’s 2060 ambition is just a beginning. By 2021, there will be more policy information and measures such as China’s 14th Five-Year-Plan and Green Deals of other countries available for analysts to examine the gap between various updated NDCs and the scientific evidence based global carbon emission reduction roadmap.
In the end, during the Q&A session, REEI’s representatives shared their views on a range of questions raised by participants. For example, the establishment of REEI, China’s NDC targets and 2060 carbon neutrality, the potential governmental cooperation in the Northeast region, REEI’s organizational strategy in the age of Sino-US competition, Chinese renewable energy policy, the current situation of the use of nuclear power in China and others.